UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Magical Realist, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,114
    No skeptic says a mundane explanation is unknown. That assertion makes zero sense.

    No skeptic rules out extraordinary explanations, they simply find insufficient justification to resort to them - as is the rational approach to analysis. So that assertion makes no sense.

    Those assertions you made are a] strawmen (since no skeptic says what you claim), and b] non-sensical, for the reasons above.

    They are also, by the way, ad homs, in that they bypass attacking the skeptical argument and instead seek to weaken the argument by attacking the skeptical arguer. That is not a rational approach.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2022
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,664
    Try "never any evidence"

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,646
    I am a little troubled by use of the word 'extraordinary'.

    It seems to introduce a big element of subjectivity into all this, since what is and isn't thought of as 'extraordinary' will depend on the individual concerned and on what his or her experiences have been. Medieval villagers seeing a helicopter clatter over their 9th century French village would likely have pissed themselves. Today seeing helicopters isn't considered extraordinary at all.

    That perspectival aspect extends to explanatory hypotheses too. To that medieval villager, the idea of a flying machine (or the idea of a machine at all) might have seemed far less likely and more improbable than some dragon or demon crossing the sky. An alien spaceship might be far more familiar and hence likely to the crew at some hypothetical alien base on the far side of the Moon that services it (it's a hypothetical example! Stop hitting me!) than it is to the UFO debunkers who have never knowingly encountered such a thing.

    Can anyone produce any objective criterion for what is and isn't 'extraordinary' that applies to everyone? Or is it more perspectival than that and dependent on the point of view of whoever is making the judgment? How likely our explanatory hypotheses seem to us is going to be a function of our previous experience and of the beliefs common in our communities.

    The word 'require' makes me uneasy too. 'Extraordinary claims' (whatever they are) require 'extraordinary evidence' (whatever that is) to accomplish what? What kind of demand is the word 'require' making there?

    It seems to me to basically be some person saying that it will take more to convince them. Which is fine. But it would seem to make 'Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence' more a matter of individual psychology than a matter of logic or objective epistemological principle.

    We would probably have a lot less acrimony in this thread if people just said "You haven't convinced me yet".
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
    Magical Realist likes this.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,664
    Few in this thread are convinced

    Evidence really does not need any qualifier. IF EVIDENCE is produced (none has been produced in any single report) it stands alone, again no qualifier needed

    Would be surprised if evidence WAS produced and some in thread were NOT convinced

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,114
    Penny wise; pound foolish.
    No point in mincing words; the lion's share of acrimony comes from the shameless dishonesty and ignorance demonstrated by MR.
     
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,668
    There's little point in overanalysing what is a relatively simple maxim. To wit, in order to be convinced of a claim that one deems to be extraordinary, one should really be provided with evidence that is similarly of an extraordinary nature. The converse can also be uttered as a maxim: if the evidence provided is ordinary, the conclusion drawn will also likely be ordinary.

    There is little point in scrutinising the maxim beyond that relatively simple understanding. And if you find yourself troubled or uneasy by words within it that don't support the meaning or understanding you want to attribute to the maxim, then maybe you're either misunderstanding it (and trying to see it as an objective matter rather than a subjective guide, perhaps), or maybe you realise you're not following it and are being convinced of things too easily? (BTW, I don't see you as the latter of these two, and yes, there are likely other reasons as well beyond those 2.)
    It does more than that, though. Assuming it has been quoted in response to a claim it does at least two things that "You haven't convinced me yet" does:
    1. It states that the claim is, in their view, extraordinary
    2. It states that the evidence/arguments thus presented are not.
    It might also have the impact of saying that the claimant is not just slightly short of convincing, but simply not yet in the ball-park, possibly not in the right city, and maybe not even the right country.

    Not also that there is little to no acrimony in this thread because of that use of that maxim. One may get flustered if they are finding others not convinced by the evidence they have presented, sure, but that would occur whether the maxim is used or the other simply explains that the evidence/arguments fall woefully short of convincing etc. I.e. it is the not convincing, not the use of the maxim.
     
    James R likes this.
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,668
    Alas you are confusing evidence with proof.
    The above would/should be the case if proof was produced - and it is proof that stands alone.

    Evidence, however, is merely a fact that is used to support a claim. It is not itself necessarily proof of a claim (and very seldom is). but is used to build up a picture of the truth.

    For example: imagine someone claims that person A stole car X.
    They say they have evidence: CCTV footage that shows A breaking in to car X in a parking lot, and driving off.
    Is this proof? No. Is it evidence that supports their claim? Yes.
    Why is it not proof? Well, on its own it doesn't show that A didn't own that car and merely lost their keys. Perhaps they were being paid by the actual owner of the car to try to break in, but no stealing of it as it was later returned as agreed etc.
    I.e. there are countless possible realities that the evidence of the CCTV footage might support. It doesn't support that person A never touched the car, etc.

    Another problem with evidence, though, is that people interpret a fact, and it is that interpretation they then consider to be evidence rather than the underlying fact.
    For example, you see a hazy and blurry tracked image on an IR scanner flicker. The evidence is that a hazy and blurry image flickered, but some would tell you that the evidence is that whatever was being tracked was intermittently cloaking itself. Alas, in this case they are overreaching themselves. The evidence of flickering might support the claim that whatever was being tracked was intermittently cloaking, but it also supports the claim that the flickering was due to the filtering by the IR hardware etc.
    How many times has the claimant simply assumed the evidence to be "cloaking", rather than "flickering on an IR scanner" etc? It is an overreach.

    But, please, don't confuse evidence with proof.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,541
    I think that a better phrase (one that seems to align better with this topic, anyway) - would be that stronger evidence is needed, when the claim is related to something we have never experienced. That may mean we have to provide evidence that is stronger than what we know about current physics, or reality. We could use Occam's Razor to rule out the usual assumptions when we're dealing with say the tic tac video, but after that, the answers become more complex...because whatever that tic tac image is, it's complex. Whatever that may mean, but this is the approach we should take...

    If someone claims to have seen actual aliens flying an unusual aircraft, that person's claim isn't enough. We shouldn't want it to be enough, honestly. But, if several claims come in every year, from all over the world, and the experiences are similar in nature - we should be willing to investigate. I don't believe space aliens are visiting Earth, but they could exist. I recognize that I'm coming to the discussion with some bias, but when I hear claims that people have seen alien life, or flying saucers, etc...I would at least need to learn if that's possible. If it's not possible with our current understanding of physics, then the evidence needs to be stronger than the norm. We shouldn't just say...well, we shouldn't dismiss these claims, because we don't know what we don't know. That's fine to think that way, but that's not evidence.

    There is a way for skeptics and non-skeptics to have a fruitful conversation, but non-skeptics should be open to understanding where skeptics are coming from - they simply want stronger evidence for out of the norm claims. Skeptics should be willing to listen and explain what they're seeking, in terms of evidence. I think the skeptics in this thread do a pretty good job of it, but there's always room for improvement.

    That's how I see it, anyway.
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,668
    You can word the principle however you like, in any manner that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    But, as a principle, it is solid: the more unusual / weird / extraordinary / unlikely (delete as appropriate, or use any other term that you like) the claim, the greater the standard of proof it should be held to (proof as in weight of evidence type as used in a court, rather than proof = unquestionable certainty notion).
    The adage / maxim of "extraordinary claims require extrordinary evidence" (ECREE for short) was popularised by Sagan, but is much older than that. Even Thomas Jefferson advised it, in a letter penned in 1808:
    … we certainly are not to deny whatever we cannot account for. A thousand phenomena present themselves daily which we cannot explain. But where facts are suggested, bearing no analogy with the laws of nature as yet known to us, their verity needs proofs proportioned to their difficulty.

    A cautious mind will weigh well the opposition of the phenomenon to every thing hitherto observed, the strength of the testimony by which it is supported, and the errors & misconceptions to which even our senses are liable.
    ”​

    Many others expressed similar, such as Laplace's “The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness”.

    So let's not get hung up on the specific wording of the adage / maxim. It is the principle of it that matters, one that surely can be comprehended whatever disagreement one might have with the specific language used to express it.
     
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,541
    I don’t know, it’s not a hang up. It shuts down conversation imo, to keep repeating “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” I’m sharing another perspective.
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,114
    I'd say it shuts down irresponsible speculation. After all, it's not the "evidence" part that's objectionable; it's the "claim" part. None of us here want to shut down conversation about evidence.
     
  15. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,541
    Right, I stated as much above. Asking for stronger evidence is understandable before we go deeper into these types of discussions but sometimes that catch phrase is code for - “there’s nothing to see here, move along.” (without any discussion)
     
    Magical Realist likes this.
  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,933
    I wouldn't even ask for "stronger" evidence. I'd expect the same credentials from a leprechaun or a Klingon as I'd expect from the cable guy: picture ID.
     
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,646
    It's useful to inquire into what the slogan means, into what it is assuming, and into what rhetorical purposes those who use it are hoping to achieve.

    The word 'extraordinary' is being used on both sides: 'extraordinary claims' and 'extraordinary evidence'. So the first order of business would seem to be to clarify how the word 'extraordinary' is being used.

    And the two sides are linked by the word 'require'. Which naturally raises the question: Required in order to achieve what?

    Maybe my misgivings are related to how this idea seems to slippy-slide between a descriptive account of one's own state of credulity: 'I haven't seen anything that convinces me yet'...

    and an attempt to restate that description of a personal mental state as if it was a prescriptive epistemological principle: 'and nobody else should be convinced either (because I'm not) ' .

    If it's something subjective and isn't an objective matter, then how can it serve as a general epistemological principle?

    The only UFO cases that I've expressed any opinions about in this thread are the 'tic tacs'. And the only (very tentative) conclusions that I've drawn from them is that something extraordinary seems to have been happening and I don't know what it was. Where 'extraordinary' is defined as 'extra ordinary' as in something not ordinarily experienced. In this case not ordinarily experienced not only by me (who has only read fragmentary accounts about these events) but by those actually there, highly experienced radar operators and naval aviators. I'm also influenced by the 'UAP Preliminary Assessment' that has been made public, which seems to pretty much agree with my own view in italics up above.

    I'm not sure how the 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence' maxim even applies in this instance. What we seem to be starting with here is an initial description of 'extraordinary evidence'. It isn't some extraordinary claim in need of evidence, it's a description of the evidence itelf. The rhetorical response from the "skeptics" seems to be to argue that a claim of 'extraordinary evidence' is indeed an 'extraordinary claim' which in turn requires extraordinary evidence. Which would threaten to turn the maxim: 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence' into an infinite regress, and perhaps into an argument that 'extraordinary claims' must never be accepted as true.
     
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,668
    Agreed.
    I disagree. If you can provide an example from this thread of someone using it to shut down discussion without there having already been considerable discussion on the strength (or more likely the weakness) of the evidence presented, I'll happily change my view.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,114
    Since you brought it up, the only member I've actually seen use the phrase "nothing to see, move along" is MR, who uses it along with "pedantry" and "anal retentiveness." when it looks like there is a danger of having to acknowledge some considered evidentiary analysis.
     
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    14,630
    Really? Then quote where I actually used that phrase or admit your're lying.
     
  21. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,541
    I'm speaking in generalities...the ''we'' in my posts above mean ''we'' as in people...spectators...a collective ''we.''

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    If I ever have absolutely nothing to do, and want to dig through 348 pages of this thread...bet I can find someone!! {{insert teary eyed laughing emoji}}
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,668
    Nah, you won't.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Nothing to see here. Move along.
     
    wegs likes this.
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,114
    You know perfectly well you have used it several times. I have no obligation to do anything a troll like you demands.
     

Share This Page